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Rotana Plans Expansion Into Europe, London In Focus

Rotana Plans Expansion Into Europe, London In Focus

The group is looking to open a hotel in London in order to attract GCC tourists travelling to the UK.

UAE hotel operator Rotana is planning to expand into the European market with a particular focus on London, the group’s president and CEO said.

Speaking to Gulf Business on the sidelines of the ongoing Arabian Travel Market, Omer Kaddouri said that the group is potentially looking to open a hotel in London in order to tap into the growing number of GCC tourists.

“London will be our main priority and there will be Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich,” said Kaddouri.

“Going to Europe for us is a strategic move because lot of our customers travel to London annually. So it makes sense for Rotana to have a presence in the country where there are a lot of inbound GCC tourists.”

Kaddouri specified that Rotana has yet to sign a deal with a operator.

The hotel group, which has a huge presence in the UAE, is also looking to base more of its operations in various other international markets, he added.

“The UAE is our strongest market. Though we are still growing in the UAE, there is only so much we could do here. We currently have about 60 per cent of operations in the UAE while 40 per cent is based outside. This might soon become 50-50. Moving forward we are looking at 60 per cent being based internationally while 40 per cent in the UAE.”

Rotana has also been expanding aggressively over the last two years. The group signed 12 properties last year and opened five new hotels, the official said.

“Our pipeline is getting stronger and we achieved our targets to a large part last year,” Kaddouri said.

However, he also acknowledged that some of the group’s hotels did not reach their profit targets mainly due to economic woes and regional turmoil.

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